Archbishop says Blessed Romero could be canonized next year


By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The archbishop officially promoting
Blessed Oscar Romero’s cause for sainthood said he hopes the process will
conclude within a year and Catholics around the world will honor St. Oscar
Romero, martyr.

“Keeping alive the memory of Romero is a noble task,
and my great hope is that Pope Francis will soon canonize him a saint,” Italian
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator of the Salvadoran archbishop’s
cause, said in a homily Aug. 12 in London.

In an interview with Vatican Radio’s English program,
Archbishop Paglia was more specific: “We could hope that in the next year
perhaps it is possible” that the Congregation for Saints’ Causes will have
completed its review of an alleged miracle attributed to Blessed Romero’s
intervention and present its findings to the pope. Recognition of the miracle
would clear the way for canonization.

Archbishop Paglia, in addition to promoting Blessed Romero’s
sainthood cause, is president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and chancellor
of Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

The biggest hurdle in the sainthood cause was obtaining
recognition that Blessed Romero, who was shot while celebrating Mass, was a
martyr, Archbishop Paglia said in London. Some church leaders, including some
who worked in the Roman Curia, had insisted Blessed Romero was assassinated
because of his political position.

But, Archbishop Paglia said, “The essence of his
holiness was his following the Lord by giving himself completely for his

Still, he told the congregation in London celebrating the
100th anniversary of Blessed Romero’s birth, “Romero was not a Superman.
He was afraid of dying, and he confessed that to his friends on a number of
occasions. But he loved Jesus and his flock more than he loved life. This is
the meaning of martyrdom.”

“Love for Jesus and the poor is greater than love for
oneself: This is the power of Romero’s message,” Archbishop Paglia said.
“A simple believer, if overwhelmed by love, becomes strong, unbeatable.”

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